Marine archaeologist begin dive at ancient Antikythera shipwreck

An international team of archaeologists returned to the ancient shipwreck of Antikythera on Monday to explore it anew using a revolutionary new deep sea diving suit.

The shipwreck, between Crete and the Peloponnese, is the richest ancient wreck dating back to 60-50 BC but discovered in modern times by Greek locals in the 1900s. It drew French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s attention in 1976, but hopes for a better view of the shipwreck were renewed with the creation of a hard metal dive suit that costs $1.5 million and allows divers to reach depths of 1,000 feet and stay underwater for more than five hours.

The Exosuit was built in Canada by Nuytco research. Archaeologist Theotokis Theodoulou, involved in the venture, told AFP that the suit expands the archaeologists’ capabilities, allowing them to perform delicate tasks. “I’ll be able to grasp, pluck, clench and dig for several hours.”

In 1900, sponge divers had managed to salvage the so-called Antikythera Mechanism from the shipwreck. The 2nd-century BCE device is believed to be the world’s first analog computer. Other antiquities found were a spectacular bronz statue of a youth and other items on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

The Exosuit, sophisticated robot mapping equipment and new advanced closed-circuit gas rebreathers will aid divers so that more artifacts believed to be underwater can be recovered.

A presentation of the Antikythera exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum of Greece

The exosuit

with info from